I’m not sure if I really need to include a spoiler alert for a movie from Y2K, but if you haven’t seen the movie Unbreakable and don’t want the plot spoiled read no further.
The other day my wife mentioned the scene below and I was thinking about the immense power of it. It strikes me as an example of vulnerability game*. For context, here is part of the plot summary from wikipedia:
The worst offender is a sadistic janitor holding a family hostage and torturing them inside their home. On a rainy night David follows the janitor back to the victims’ house. After freeing the children he is ambushed by the lurking janitor who throws him off a balcony into a pool below, where he nearly drowns but is rescued by the children. He then strangles the janitor. That night he is reconciled with Audrey and the following morning, secretly shows the newspaper article of his anonymous heroic act to his son.
*It is more an example of vulnerability game to the audience than to the wife, since she hasn’t just witnessed his feats of alpha strength the way the audience did. As Roissy explains the power is in the contrast and you don’t want to overdo it.